We are already three weeks into the New Year and winter is finally showing her blustery side. I hope you are all finding ways to foster warmth not only from the outside in but also from the inside out. To me this means, thick socks, snuggling with my sweets, eating hot and hearty meals and setting strong focused intentions. With a focus intention I am lighting a fire to keep me going for the entire year. In preparation for the New Year, instead of just setting a bunch of goals, I choose a one-word intention to cloak 2013 in and constantly remind me of how I want to feel. This came about last year, spontaneously, as I was teaching my Saturday afternoon class at Studio 34 that just so happened to fall on New Year’s Eve. I decided to advertise it as a “special New Year’s” class and twenty-five people showed up. Inspired by the room of open hearts, I led them through the process of choosing a word and then we went around the circle as each person spoke their word. It gave me chills and inspired me to no end. So I decided to do it again, this time at Yoga Garden as well as on Facebook. Again, it was nothing short of mystifying. I hope to make this a yearly ritual in both my teaching and my personal practice. I have already noticed how shifts happened so naturally without much effort and ease has come in. My schedule is more maintainable, I am more organized, I have more free time and I am enjoying my work much more. And while I have worked to put some of this in place, I can’t help but trust that part of this is the power of my intention. Do you have a word brewing? It isn’t too late. Scroll down to check out the meditation of the month; choose your word and watch as the magic unfolds. Remember, you deserve to live a magical life.
Moving Forward- My first bike ride in 22 years
My feet wobbled unsteadily on the pedals and the front of the aqua bicycle shook violently as the metal basket swayed from right to left. With my hands gripping tighter than a vice, I moved forward focusing on each and every circle the pedals made. Moving forward. After a bicycle riding hiatus of 22 years, this stood for so much more than moving from point A to point B. Pride filled my lungs with each breath as the warm Tulum air caressed my hair and the hot sun burned my shoulders. People passed me with one or even both hands by their sides as they rode and still not an ounce of insecurity lived in my at that moment. I knew I looked like a fool but this fool had a mission 22 years in the making. And besides, a little bit of foolishness is a good thing if you ask me.
I can’t even remember the last time I actually rode my purple huffy laced with hot pink embellishments. But, I do remember the first day I walked into my fifth grade class sporting two wooden crutches, with my right foot wrapped in the morbidly dim cream color ace bandages are known for. A few days prior I woke up with a mysterious pain in my foot and doctors, clueless to the origin of my pain, shoved some crutches under my arms, wrapped my foot and sent me on my way. But to the majority of my fifth grade class, if you didn’t have a hard cast they could scribble on, it wasn’t real. Within ten minutes of hobbling into the room the title “faker” stamped itself onto my back. And really, I had no way of proving them wrong. I do remember that if I had a special power back then I hoped it would be the power to let others feel my pain, just for an instant, so they would know. Ironic. Now I am in the business of helping release people from their pain.
I would love to say this lasted for a few days but unfortunately it carried on for over two years. It took thirteen weeks for the doctors to diagnose me with RSD- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy but still my classmates didn’t care, especially once it hopped from my foot to my hand, a result of all the pressure my wrist took from being on crutches for so long.
Eventually, I grew out of this and RSD fled my body but the affect of that time lingered on. From my deep value of not even telling a white lie, to my powerful and strong voice, my leadership skills and my issues with groups, I can see so many ways this experience influenced the current of my life. In fact, my favorite way to be a part of a group is if I am the leader, hence the whole Yoga Teacher gig. If we think events of our life have no effect on us, we are mistaken. Our ability to accept the hard parts of life is a powerful vehicle of discovering our purpose and how we can effectively contribute to this world. I did a lot of work to heal this time of my life and recognize its purpose. But still I hadn’t rode a bike…
I woke up that morning knowing I was ready to ride a bike. I woke up knowing I didn’t need anyone to teach me how to ride nor did I need the moral support. I just needed to do it. I needed to ride the damn bike. So I rented a bike from the Yoga Shala I was staying at and went right onto the road. The two-way traffic deemed intimidating as did the other bikers but I moved forward, a smile plastered on my face.
I rode past the crystal blue ocean and the sandy beach; I made my way onto the bike path and discovered that while my body is in great shape, my bike riding muscles needed some help. This shit was tough! And it didn’t help that the basket and school bag I toted along added another ten pounds. But still I moved forward. I rode all the way to the brink of town where the bike path ended and spilled into traffic a bit over my head. I turned around and rode home. My destination really didn’t matter. Here it was all about the journey. As my confidence continued to build, a man in his seventies with white hair and a soft tan whizzed by me. Clearly I was a slow poke. But still I moved forward. I peeled off a layer of myself that day. Like the skin of a cucumber, it came right off even though I didn’t know it remained. In the instant I rode, I understood. I understood that even if we “do the work” and heal certain situation that there still may come a come time when we just need to get on and ride. We just need to move forward.
Recently I have been taking on a bigger role in my business, actually thinking of it as a business and myself as a business owner and getting clear on my next big vision. As a result I let go of some classes to make more space for writing and working. I became super organized, created a work schedule and started to ground into the idea that I am much more than a yoga teacher. As a result, however I began using every spare minute I had to get work finished. I barely gave myself any breaks and my yoga practice and time with nature was practically nonexistent. As a result I felt stressed, tired and even worse, completely disconnected from my strong source of guidance and creativity.
So last week in addition to scheduling time to work on all my tasks at hand, I also scheduled four yoga classes and a hike in Valley Green. I scheduled them as I would a class I had to teach or a meeting I needed to attend. Because here is the thing, they are THAT IMPORTANT, if not more.
You see, I fell into the conditioning trap that tells us in order to be successful we have to work out bums off and push, push, push. In my attempt to become a “business owner” and in turn more responsible and grounded, I left out the most important ingredient: Consciousness. Often I think we rope our consciousness off and only let it make an appearance for special events like yoga classes or meditation. But consciousness needs to be entrenched in every beat of our pulse, every breath we take. And it especially needs to be found our work. Often our work is the way we contribute to humanity, it can be the way we serve others, the way we provide for our families and ourselves. Why would be every want to risk leaving consciousness out of this??
As a result of taking this time to engage in the things that really fill my soul up and inspire deep joy, peace and creativity, my awareness grew, my work took on a deeper purpose and my classes were extra potent. What area of your life could you be leaving consciousness at the door? What could you offer to yourself to tap you back into the current of life? Sometimes it is that simple. Remember, stress is a state of mind. So be mindful of your state. Your work and your play will thank you.
The Heart of Success
“If you love something set it free, if it comes back it was meant to be”
I love the transition into fall; the crispness in the air gives me a deep feeling of change and productivity. It is exciting to be getting back into “the swing of things!” The last time I wrote you, I talked about ways we commonly define success- often through numbers and dollar signs- and because of this we sometimes forget to see the full spectrum of beauty the experience holds. Well since then, some interesting things have transpired and I would like to share.
In writing my last blog, I was able to let go of my attachment to needing to get a particular amount of students for my Poconos Retreat when I realized that the retreat was still a great success even if it only five people. But last Monday, I woke up feeling the urge to get more sign ups for the upcoming retreat and with that urge I felt some anxiety. Instead of acting on the nervousness I lay in my bed with my hand on my heart and began to consider why I wanted a full retreat. I dug deeper past the logistics of how many people I needed to make a profit and went right to the essence of what I wanted, I felt relaxed and inspired by connecting with my intention in this way.
Two days later one of my students emailed me about wanting to sign up before the early bird expired (something I had forgotten). With that reminder, I decided to post on Facebook that there was only one more day to sign up at the early bird rate. Within two hours seven people reached out to me to sign up and suddenly the retreat went from three being enrolled to sold out!
I shifted my energy, moved into a space of true acceptance, followed my guidance and just like that things changed. I know it seems too simple, but really things can be. We never NEED to struggle. Sure it happens, but it isn’t the recipe for success. Sometimes we just need to give the desire or the issue some space. Is there something that you are dying to see shift? Have you been trying to create more abundance in some area of your life but feel as though you keep hitting a brick wall? Then ask yourself this: “How can I find acceptance and surrender around this issue? How can I trust in my self and just let it evolve?” Sometimes we need to let something go before we can allow it to come in. Seems kinda backwards, but it’s true.
Last weekend I led my fifth Poconos yoga retreat. As always it was powerful, in tuned, and everyone (including myself) seemed to walk away feeling the soothing and rejuvenating effects. However, this year I only had five people attend and usually I like to have eight. Having eight allows me to make a profit beyond paying to say in the house by myself for the rest of the week. It has also been nice to have more bodies in the space. At first I found it troubling that I only had five people. I though “surely this can’t be a successful retreat.” My ego was all over this. I tried to find ways to rationalize and feel ok with it, but when my guests arrived it still bothered me so I simply accepted it.
Once the weekend started to flow, my mind took a back seat as I became focused on facilitating, teaching, and cooking all of the meals. The weekend felt so special and I began to feel so connected and inspired! Magic permeated the house and the hearts of everyone there. In addition to the regular weekend I usually teach, this year I added a live Kirtan with the enlightened guidance of 13 Hands. Before the concert I wondered how a Kirtan would feel with only seven people (myself and Dalien from 13 Hands included). But again, as the music flowed and my mind took a rest, I enjoyed one of the best Kirtans I have even been to. It was so intimate and energetically in sync. I felt the effects for 24-hours.
Once everyone left and I had the space to myself for a few days, I began to realize that the weekend was a huge success. The classes were deep and provocative, the food nourishing and delicious, and everyone had the time to simply relax and slow down. Not only did my students enjoy it but at the end of my time there I felt myself transformed and inspired in a whole new way, deeper way that I wasn’t expecting to feel.
So often we define success in numbers. Questions like: “How much money did I make?” or “How many people attended?” are often the first to arise. And while I do believe that we all deserve to make an abundant amount of money doing what we choose to in this world (especially when it is aligned with our purpose), I also believe that it is not the only way we succeed. Abundance takes so many forms and when we fail to see all of them, we can either get stuck in a space of lack and wanting or become so define by the money we make that we can’t see past the ego and in turn are cut off from the sweet flow of consciousness. Often what we think we want already exists on some level or it is so desperately trying to reach us. We just to open our eyes, our hearts and our grip. We need to receive, to realize how blessed this life truly is.
Every day we breathe unlimited amounts of breaths. We can laugh as much as we want. We can surround ourselves with the loving touch of nature and embrace our loved ones and feel their affection. All of these things are free and at our disposal. The more we are able notice all that we have on a regular basis, the more the energy of abundance flows out of us. And the more energy flows out is the more it flows in. It’s all about the flow of energy. That’s it. So let it. You deserve it.
I have been experiencing a very interesting shift of desire lately. Normally I thrive off of going and doing and making stuff happen but more recently I feel this longing to simply be. Last week I had the pleasure of taking the second half of the week in easefully with little teaching, no planning or even socializing. I stayed in my cool air-conditioned room, read a few books and worked on my own book. It was heavenly. In that time I reminded myself how awesome simplifying things can be. Now I know at times it seems impossible to live this way but I think a lot of this lies in the how dominant our ego mind is.
The ego mind functions in an outward identity. The main focuses are tasks, status and approval. So when we live from the ego mind it can often be stressful and taxing because we often feel there is never enough, or we are never enough. We push more than we need to, judge others and ourselves and obsess over things that keep us running in circles.
However when we recognize that, while living in the ego mind is at times helpful and necessary, it needn’t DEFINE OUR WORTH, we begin to tell a different story. We can rise above these stresses as we connect with the supreme consciousness of the soul or what Ram Dass calls the “heart mind.” Here we trust in a deeper guidance, we let go of the struggle and we simply breath in the beauty. This is a far cry from the way so many live their lives but it is closer than you think. I just feel that sometimes we need to give up the fight. Just let it go. All of it- the trying to fix ourselves, the worrying about what others think of us and the thinking we are not enough. This world is so precious and wants you to enJOY it. Sometimes we just need to breath. Everything else will fall into place. Simply and beautifully.
A few weeks ago I had a session with my healer (aka therapist) Ashley King. During our time together, the topic of abundance came up. What do you think of when you hear this word? ABUNDANCE. I know for myself, and I don’t think I’m alone, this word immediately conjures up thoughts of money. When we speak of having abundance or being abundant, often these days I think money often attaches itself to the interpretation. Thinking in this way doesn’t pose a problem initially. As most of you know, I support everyone having as much money as they want. But if we only set our sites on abundance as a monetary gain, we are selling ourselves short.
Ashley reminded me of this very fact during our last session as I spoke of fear around money and lack, despite the fact that money is flowing. So when I went to class and one of my students jokingly commented that she wanted to “win the lottery” I used this moment to structure the entire class around a new and improved idea of abundance. The definition states: abundance is “a very large quantity of something” or “an overflowing fullness.” That being said, money is only one of many ways we can be full and bountiful. This feeing can come though ideas, creative inspiration, opportunities (some which could lead to money), joy, nourishment, fun, time, or success (not necessarily having to do with money).
For example, when I taught Urban Yoga last month and 70 people came, it was a huge, abundant success. However, the event was free and it wasn’t a paying gig but being around all that fullness definitely gave me the feeling of plenty. Later that night Nick and I ordered a pizza and due to a mistake some one made, we received two. I remember lifting my hands up with a big smile on my face shouting the word in question: “Abundance!” Now, the next morning a student who attended the class (her first yoga class ever) contacted me and now is a private client of mine. And in comes the money. Do you see? The more we connect with this plentiful essence on every level the more it expands into more and more. But if we tighten our grip and only look for it in particular ways, it will seem as though the well is sometimes dry. Try it and you will see. Let go of needing anything particular for a few days. Maybe even a week. Just feel the essence of abundance and fullness. Then watch all the small ways it shows it. Those small ways will turn into big ways and in time you will be the embodiment of a full and ever-expanding life.
As many of you know, a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of teaching the kick-off class for Urban Yoga Philly. Over seventy people gathered in the Plaza of the Comcast Center to partake in the yoga festivities. The crowd ranged from seasoned practitioners and teachers to some who never set foot on a yoga mat. As we flowed through the practice, everyone moved at a pace that worked for them. Since I knew huge skyscrapers served as the backdrop for the class, I decided to focus on “being big.” I started off by asking everyone, as they reclined in mediation, the rhetorical question, “Are you allowing yourself to be as big as you can be?” I then led the class through a series of poses to help them tap into their third and forth Chakras (energy centers). These particular centers or wheels in the body connect us to our sense of self, our identity, self -love and compassion. It is my belief that once we begin to understand who we TRULY are, this pure unconditional love begins to flow.
This has been my experience over the years but one that has expanded more recently. I started this amazing transformational author series, which consists of various talks designed to empower and inspire writers to write their transformational book. After just the second session, I began to see that, despite all I have and continue to accomplish in my life, I am still playing it small. Now to some this may not make sense, but to me and my life and my dreams it is crystal clear.
Only you can know if you are truly allowing yourself to grow and expand and be as big as you can be. At one moment you may be and feel massive, like a force of nature, but in time there is always more growth and more risks to be taken. For me this next step is committing whole-heartedly to stepping into my role as a writer. To make the time to go after my dream of being a successful and inspiring author that reaches millions. This is my “Big.” Later my “big” could be something else but right now, this is it.
So, let me ask you. Are you as big as you can be? Not to others’ eyes but to yours. Are you letting yourself reach for your dreams? Are you letting yourself shine? Don’t worry about what is “right.” Think about what is right for you. Tap into your power. Once you do this, the Universe will take of the rest. This is your life. And, risking the chance of sounding like a hair dye commercial, YOU ARE WORTH IT. You always have been.
“The Choice is Yours”
Right now I am in what I like to call a “learning curve.” For me this means that I am in a space that I am plunging more deeply into myself as a way of healing and transforming. While we are consistently changing and evolving every day, I find at times, that this can be accelerated by what is going on in our lives. I also believe that there is always a deeper layer to explore and more to excavate and that this must happen in layers otherwise it would be too much to handle. I recently started seeing a healer. Many like to call them therapists, but this word doesn’t jive with me. It makes me feel as though I am trying to fix myself and I am not. I am healing. To me there lies a big difference. Fixing means there is something wrong while healing is more about growth and awareness. As the awareness comes, I face it, move through it and begin to heal. I took a break from this kind of work when I left for my trip in 2010 and for the past year and a half did work on my own but I knew the time was right to go deeper, hence I found myself a healer, Ashley King.
On top of that I am on week four or co-teaching the Beyond Asana 200 hour teacher training and holding space for 15 other people and their experiences. Not to mention my own. And if you know my partner, Maura Manzo, and me you know we like to go deep. In the second and third week we explored vital topics such as racism, privilege, sexism as well as our feelings around them. Big stuff.
In addition to both of those things, I am writing a memoir about the last 10 years of my life. This includes, my past relationships and describing a life that now seems so foreign to me. This brings emotions to a high and resistance is often felt along the way.
As if all that wasn’t enough, I am also nine months into a beautiful relationship that is very supportive, fun and just plain wonderful! Still at it times holds a big fat mirror up to where I need to grow and heal, and this was something proving to be a struggle. Not the fact that at times I was challenged by my relationship, I expect to be, this is how we evolve. But this with all of the other stuff. Your partner is often the one you are going to be the most raw and real with. Suddenly, all the stuff came out, and it began to make me feel a little crazy as I processed these things. Even more, it began to make me feel the need to be on my own. Not because I wanted to be with anyone else and not because I am not fulfilled in my relationship but because I am used to dealing with “learning curves” on my own. By nature I am a very independent person but for some reason when I am in relationships, I merge. I often become dependent in some way. In the past this has led to a complete betrayal of my light. But now I have the tools and the partner to allow my light to stay bright so that I may grow more deeply. But as with any habit you are trying to break, at first this can feel arduous and uncomfortable. I was so used to loosing myself. But now I know that isn’t a choice. I am too far on my path to step off, which is why Nick is the person in my life. He gives me all the space I need and handles my honesty with grace and ease.
So when I explained to him my issue of feeling the urge to be alone he held the space while I worked it out. I recognized that for the past four years, while I have dated, I have not been in a serious relationship. And in this time my deepest growth took place. Now that I find myself in this place again it feels very challenging to do it with a partner. I had to admit that it might be easier not to be in relationship. But then after I finally moved into this truth instead of suppressing it and feeling guilty, I became empowered to CHOOSE what I wanted. And that is to be in this relationship with my Nick. It may be more in my comfort zone to do this stuff alone, but I know this is where I want to be.
It is empowering to make real choices. And even more empowering to do so consciously. When we can be honest with ourselves, own our feelings and then move through them with grace and love, we come out the other end staying true to our light. And this feels really good.
“Learning the Why”
Just on Sunday after teaching a really fun class at Lululemon, a yoga clothing store in Center City, I found out I have been selected to be one of their ambassadors. This was very exciting news as it is something I have wanted for quite some time and I know it will give me more exposure in many ways and help to grow Beyond Asana. In addition, I will also have a big picture on the wall of the store and I get loads of free clothes. Keep reading… I have a point, I’m not just being boastful.
So with all of these things I immediately felt my ego kick in and my feet leave the ground. Sunday night excitement filled me as my creative energy kicked in and I thought of all the ways I could grow from this. My chest started to puff up and in that moment I knew I needed to stop and take a breath. Yes, this is great. I am excited and I do believe I will make a great ambassador, as lulumemon is a company that supports a lot of things I believe in. But in moments like this it is important to remember the why. To ground deeply down into the roots of purpose. I wanted to be an ambassador so I could connect with more people. I want to connect with more people to allow my business to grow but most importantly I want to honor my purpose which is to inspire and empower people to transform and evolve their lives and in turn this world. For me it must always come back to that sometimes exciting things happen, sometimes we are challenged or hurt on this road, and sometimes we fall off course completely. In these moments it is vital to take a breath and remember the why. The “why” that stems not from agenda but from the deepest space in our hearts. It is here that we can move more profoundly into life. It is here we truly thrive.
“Divine, Precious Transformation”
If you have ever been to one of my Studio 34 classes then you know it is not your typical yoga class. We position our mats in a supportive circle and spend the first fifteen minutes of class going around the circle sharing anything that comes up on a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual level. I am not sure how it came to be but all I know is that suddenly every Wednesday and Saturday we created such magic as the classes drew in such openhearted and expressive people.
Then a couple of weeks ago I came to class feeling like I wanted to change things up to the traditional structure most people are used to. But, instead of following my instinct, I kept it in the style that my students and I had grown accustomed to and the whole class felt “off” to me. Truth is, I was attached to it, to how it was: different, unique, and how I felt my students expected this. It became an identity that I started to cling to. And once that happened, I knew I had to switch it up.
So often we take on identities- styles, personalities, and ways of showing up for a particular experience. We expect them of ourselves but also others expect them of us. Take a yoga class. It is rare that one enters a Western Yoga Class, say Vinyasa, without any expectations. Often it’s not only the expectation of the class but we are also often aware of the “expectations” of our teacher as well. We may think that we have to impress the teacher or those around us by conforming to what it means to be a “Western Yogi”. We see images splattered on Yoga Journal covers or pictures on Facebook that can ultimately condition us to feel like we need to act, look, or feel a particular way and if we don’t, then we suck. In turn, I see students pushing themselves into poses their body has no interest in because they think this is the way it needs to be.
Take chaturanga dandasana for example- the infamous Yoga pushup. In my experience of teaching for the past nine years, I would have to say this is one of the most misaligned poses out there and yet students are doing it repeatedly in a single class. As I scan the room I see shoulders slumping forward, chest’s compressing, low backs dipping and heads hanging low. Most people don’t even realize how dangerous this can be and those that do don’t care. For a lot of people, this is part of a Vinyasa class and if they aren’t doing it every time it is asked of them then they are less than adequate. So instead, many will risk injury and tearing their shoulders apart to meet the standards of a Western style Vinyasa class.
This is just one example of how we do this.
I can look back to my past with honesty and compassion at the times I denied my truth to fit into a box I allowed myself to get trapped in. Through people’s expectations of us, through an entire communities’ view on how things should be, even through an entire race’s opinion of how the world is, we take on various identities. Various expectations. At times this works, but it is always important to notice what we are attached to in these situations, why we are taking them on, and if we are allowing them to hold us back from a deeper space of growth that we’ve yet to see.
Once we are able to recognize how we continue to show up in all of our experiences we have the power to move more deeply into this understanding. We have the power to transform. And really if you ask me, this is what life is all about, divine, precious transformation.
This past week I taught my classes in the traditional style, letting go of the circle and the sharing. It was just as lovely and transformational as ever.
As you begin to voice what you need you may start to see areas of your life you have been neglecting in some way. As life continues to unfold and give us what we need, as we begin to create the lives we want, we can get swept up in the forceful current this produces. When this happens we tend to lose our footing and forget the importance of checking in with ourselves and our personal needs. I remembered this during my stay at Kripalu. Things have really begun to pick up for me. Slowly but surely everything I have been fostering for what feels like years is blossoming. And with this comes more responsibilities, more time commitments, and more energy on my part. While I am more than happy to contribute to the change, often when we enter into a busy time in our lives, whether it is a new project, home, job, relationship, or baby I find that we tend to forget this. We try to continue on and often wind up getting depleted whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. We forget to make time for our needs as we balance change in our lives.
This was my deal when I got to Kripalu. My body was sore and achy and I was in need of some deep stress release. Not because of things I was worried about but instead because of the overwhelming feeling of everything coming together with force and speed. Remember, this can be hard to handle at times. Especially if we don’t take time to ground.
During my stay I got three body treatments one of which with a positional therapist. After a brief discussion he told me my hamstrings were over-stretched and that any attempt to rectify by more stretching would make them worse and that my quadriceps were over worked which was affecting my low back and knees. I knew this came from the plethora of classes I teach as well as my active lifestyle. He gave me a few gentle stretches to do and sent me on my way. Since my stay, I have refrained from studio classes and instead have allowed my body to rest. While I have missed the flow, I still feel centered and focused and know I will return when my body can support this. Sometimes we need to be patient and listen to our bodies. Otherwise, they will speak even louder until we have no choice but to take note and slow down. I realized, that I need to balance all the physical work I do with some gentleness and more healing treatments; often we take for granted how much we do and need to seek a balance to honor all the work our bodies do.
The other big issue was time. Basically not having enough if to go around. I teach 17-20 classes a week, am preparing for a 200 hour teacher training, was babysitting once a week, working on promoting my business (with things like this newsletter) and spending time feeding my relationships. Plus, I have started writing my book, a project I am very excited about. With all of these amazing things I was forgetting one important piece: time for me. Time to simply be. I would easily let that go if something else came up. And as a result: I was suffering, my body was suffering, my work wasn’t as bright, and I found myself taking these things out on my boyfriend through general exhaustion and crankiness.
So, after doing lots work on myself and coming into a clearer understanding of exactly how I want my life to unfold and what my purpose is while working with Anodea Judith at Kripala, a certain understanding began to surface. I needed to focus on exactly what I wanted and then take steps to allow it to flow. When I returned from my trip I sat and wrote a list of all the things I am holding space for in 2012 AND 2013. I made sure to write them as if they already happened and not just as if I wanted them. I also wrote a paragraph or more on how I wanted each area of my life to unfold. Some areas included: relationships, career and money, travel, relaxation, my home and my health. I was specific. I included: how much money I want to make a month, how much I want in the bank, where I want to travel, how many classes I want to teach a week, how I want my home to look, and I even included dates! I put it all out there in a clear and focused manner.
Shortly after this I began to see things more clearly. I knew what I needed to do and it made perfect sense. Any feeling of struggle or resistance faded. First, I reviewed my budget and saw that with all of my private clients I was already making the monthly amount I wanted for 2013 (this was higher than 2012). I simply wasn’t organized enough to put this money into my weekly budget. Then, after I realized I was financially supported (something that I struggled with in the past) I knew I had to let go of a few classes as well as stop babysitting weekly. So now things are in order which will give me two days off a week; something I haven’t had in years. By doing these simple things I have allowed more time to myself, more time to feed my relationships with Nick, my parents, and my friends and more time to BREATH. Finally, I realized that I need to honor my body that does so much for me, so I have committed to getting body treatments at least once a month. For me, and many of you I am sure, these things are not decadent indulgences. They are necessary to keep us balanced. And by all means they are not selfish! But really, what is wrong with giving to yourself? What is wrong with being selfish from time to time. If you can’t give yourself what you need why should you expect anyone else to?
So I offer my journey to you. What do you need in your life? What do you want? Where do you need balance? Sometimes it is easier than you think.
You deserve to be happy. You deserve to feel at ease. You deserve to have fun. You deserve love.
Sit down and write it all out. How do you want all the areas of your life to unfold? Be specific? What do you want for this year? Next year? Be clear with your intentions and watch what happens. Whether you are a new mother getting no sleep, a person overwhelmed by corporate life, often worried due to lack of money, a fellow yoga teacher approaching burnout, or a grad student feeling the pressure of classes; we all need balance. We all deserve a life we are excited to live. Take steps in allowing this to happen for you today.
The Unpretty Beautiful Truth
As I mentioned in my previous blog, I have finally started fostering a talent that has always be a vital part of my life. Writing. And while I have been writing for quite some time, something about this focused intention to write every single week feels different. It feels more focused and more intent on becoming something more. And what I have found is that many of the topics I am being called to write about are pushing me way past my comfort zone. The ideas come, I begin to write and about half way through, as I realize what is coming together, I start to fidget in my seat, distract myself by pouring some tea and looking around the room. Not to mention the deep breaths I find myself taking.
This was the case for one of the poems I wrote for the poetry slam I was planning to enter. The poem was about racism. About how, through my fear as I walk though the city, I help perpetuate it. I help feed to it. I know this is something many people can relate to. I even know that this is something that happens all the time without even a thought, but this didn’t lessen its impact. I didn’t particularly want to write this poem. It’s scared the shit out of me. I was afraid that it would be taken out of context (or context) and I would be judged. Harshly. But something inside of me said I had to write this. And even more importantly, I had to read it.
Now this was something I wanted to do even less, since all of the participants and a majority of the audience at the last slam were black. And here comes this white girl talking about the plights of racism. I was afraid I would be misunderstood and booed off stage quite frankly. Even worse I was afraid they would think I was a jerk. Being in an interracial relationship that is still fairly new, I find myself more aware and sensitive to those with a culture and a background different from mine. I am a very authentic person but that authenticity has been laced with an underlying societal influence that as much as we think has changed still undermines certain people at times. So I try to be aware when my conditioning leads me to think in a way that needs a little tweaking. And basically what this poem did was put it all out there. “All” meaning my insecurities, my fears and my vulnerability. Scary stuff. But still I knew I had to read it. I felt as though the words that graced the page where dredged up not just from my own experience but from the experience of much deeper presence. It wasn’t just about me.
So the night came. I had a few poems I could have started with. I could have certainly copped out. But I didn’t. I got up on stage and read the poem, which began with me announcing to the audience that it “scared the shit out of me but I’m going to read it anyway.” I began and as I read it I heard the crowd react. And as I was up to my last few lines, it had become clear to me that I was over the 3 minutes and 10 seconds time limit I was supposed to keep with. So as a result, I had to stop short of finishing. It was nothing personal, it was the rule. The rule that kept me from delivering the poem in its entirety.
I am not surprised something like that happened. I remember the first time I read the poem out loud a few nights before. It was right before bed and I coughed the entire night in and out of sleep. My fear for speaking my truth, a truth I was somewhat ashamed of, created a way out. It caused me to be cut short.
But at the end of the evening one of the other poets come up to me and told me her brother, another poet who also slammed that night, loved my poem and wanted to hear the end. So we stepped out into the cool night air and I finished my poem. Because really that was what I was meant to do. It is not always easy to speak our truth. We may not always be proud of our truth. But the courage and power that are tapped into when we do are exactly what this world is in need of. They help to strip away the layers and reveal a even deeper truth embedded in us all. It is these qualities that help to create change. It isn’t always easy. It isn’t always pretty. But damn, it is always beautiful.
Now I am sure you may be wondering what this poems was really all about. So here it is in its entirety.
As you pass me on the sidewalk my body reacts.
Jaw tenses, fists clench, my eyes narrow to an almond-like glare announcing my fear.
My fear. Of you.
You a man.
You a man with a pigment darker than mine.
You a man with pigment darker than mine who means me no harm.
You notice my fear and I see the disappointment in your eyes.
You are disappointed in my prejudice towards you. My fear of you, a black man who simply cares to pass a single white woman on the street.
You look me in the eye and say “Happy New Year” which translates to “I am not going to mug you. I don’t want to rape you.” I simply want to pass your ass on the street. I want to walk by you. Why won’t you let me do this in peace?
I look back at him. Ashamed and surprised at my behavior. I pull my fuzzy wool coating over my brow and smile as I respond, “Happy New Year.” Which translates to “ Bahhh, I know. I am a sheep. I have succumbed to societies plot to pin me again you. Through my fear: My clutching of my purse, my making sure my car door is locked, my clenched body as you pass me on a dark night, I am feeding racism. I am feeding injustice. I am nurturing a seed that was planted in my brain and as much as I try to resist, it remains. Instinct kicks in and judgment arises.
So I am voicing it. I am admitting it. It is here. Living breathing. Even. Thriving. In me. Through my reactions I feed this.
Perhaps if my high school didn’t consist of pale faced short skirted estrogen filled bodies.
Perhaps if the man I passed on the sidewalk that day stroking his penis in broad daylight was white.
Perhaps if every time I heard of another crime in my neighborhood I didn’t picture a particular visage.
Perhaps if you didn’t wear your jeans so baggy.
Perhaps if you looked more educated.
What would it take to make me comfortable passing you?
What would allow this transition to be one of ease?
Must we erase time?
How far back should we go?
How big does the eraser have to be?
How hard do I have to scrub.
Will you help me?
Am I doing this alone?
For if surely I need you next to me.
Can we do it together?
For while I can live with the cautious demeanor that erupts when I pass you.
I cannot deal with the look in your eyes.
We continue to walk on by. And I wonder if you have heard me. And if truly I have heard you.
One can only hope.
But no. This isn’t true.
One must act. Not react.
One must spark the fires of change.
And while it appears impressive when you hoist signs for equality high in the air and work with orphans in third world countries, your behavior of the mundane day is by far etching a reality we often forget to see.
A reality screaming its existence when you pass me on the street.
1/11/12 What Will You Feed This Year?
If you know me at all you probably know that I try not to follow too many trends. I like to go against the grain and if the majority is doing something I will figure out another way to do it. Unless it has some kind of value. In other words, I believe in doing what is best for the individual which may or may not be what the masses are pushing.
So I am sure I do not need to tell you my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions. And while I usually don’t go through the nonsense of declaring resolutions I believe there is a momentum during this year that we can certainly ride. It just needs some tweaking. When a larger number of people are taking part in a particular ritual it gives off a strong energy and if connected with in an authentic way, can be very powerful. But rather than calling them resolutions and placing unrealistic demands on ourselves that are almost impossible to keep I like to approach this in a different manner.
On New Year’s Eve I taught a very special class at Studio 34 in which we created both a theme for the past year and a theme for the year ahead. These themes where not to be thought about but instead just allowed to rise to the surface of our consciousness as we practiced. It was so empowering to hear all the various themes of the 25 people in the room. I left that class feeling so inspired and revived.
The thing about setting a theme is that it offers a foundation for you to move from. It is not set in stone and will most likely evolve and morph several times as the year moves ahead. But it is something you can grow into. Mine is Grounded Abundance. I invite you to choose your theme for the New Year. You can post them on my website by clicking here. It will be your chance to make a commitment to something powerful and stable. Something that will plant a seed but not overwhelm you. Instead it will unfold as you do. As we all always do…
Another thing I decided to do at the start of the New Year is finally put energy into my writing. I have committed every Monday from 3-5pm to writing. Something. Whether it be poetry, blogs (like this one) or rough drafts for my book I am going to do it Mondays from three to five. I have known for some time that really all I need to do is begin to put energy into my writing and the rest will fall into place. I have wanted to write a book for about six years but never got it off the ground enough for it to take on any momentum. And really, I have known it wasn’t the right time, because if it was the right time it would just happen. And it wasn’t.
But suddenly I felt the urge to begin to write. So I followed it by making this commitment. And within one week a string of amazing things happened to show me I am on the right track and momentum is flowing. First, I wrote two poems and read one of them at a poetry slam where I competed with some very seasoned poets. It was scary and pushed my comfort zone but now I feel I am embracing a new community of writers since this slam happens once a month. Next, I met with a friend and fellow writer (something we have been trying to do for months). She gave me advice, I read her a poems and she spoke of her work. Again I felt connected to more writers in my life. And finally (and surely this is the one that was the most auspicious) as my boyfriend and I were walking around Chestnut Hill the other day, we passed a small building called “Musehouse Literary Center”. I stopped in my tracks as I tried to figure out if this was what I was looking for. A woman who was locking up saw my interest and gave me their winter catalogue right before she left. My excitement grew as I read it several times cover to cover. Muse House offers writing workshops of many kinds including one for entitled “Making Your Memoir Happen.” I signed up the very next day. Momentum. All I had to do was feed it and the flower is already beginning to grow. After one week. Because really I planted this seed six years ago. I just rarely watered it. But the seed was strong enough to survive and really has been growing underground for quite some time.
So I ask you, what do you want to feed? Or more importantly, what are you ready to feed? What project? What passion? What purpose? Now could be the time. At first it may feel a little scary. Even a bit uncomfortable. But then, as the momentum takes over it will begin to feel oh so right. Now a week it pretty quick. But remember, I have been setting this desire for six years. So patience is very necessary. Patience and trust in your talent. Trust in your power. Trust in the momentum of this very helpful Universe…
11/30/11 S P A C E
I spent a lot of time on my own over the holiday weekend.Wednesday through Sunday to be exact. One reason was that the person that I have been spending a good deal of my time with, my boyfriend, was out of town. Our relationship is still new, almost four months, and while we don’t spend every day together, we do see each other frequently enough for me to notice his absence. Before this I hadn’t been in a serious committed relationship in four years and it truly is a fascinating experience due to the amount of awareness I have gain in my past four years of “soul searching”. What I have found is that when I roll solo I am quite independent, very empowered and tend to plan a lot less. However, when I operate in a relationship I am so easily swayed by this deep desire to merge with my partner and often in the past have lost myself. It happened in both of my serious relationships in my early and mid twenties (one of 3 years and one of 2). It starts out slow, with me letting go of plans, switching things around, not practicing yoga as much but then it tends to became more powerful. In my first relationship, at the ripe age of 21, I remember my boyfriend telling me how to dress and I listened. I remember in the next relationship telling my boyfriend that if we ever broke up I would be so devastated that I would go to India and meditate on a mountain for the rest of my life. I know you are laughing now. It’s hysterical. And very dramatic. But if you strip it down to the bare bones really what I was saying was that I cound’t survive in my life without him. I needed him to live. Now I know many love songs and movies like Jerry Maguire would have us to believe that this sort of sentiment is not only romantic but almost necessary to be in love with someone. And this is something I clung to for many years. I believed that in order to really love someone you needed to want to see them every day, to talk to them 10 times a day and basically be attached to their hip. Little did I know that this is often more codependency than a healthy relationship. The funny thing is that when I would end those relationships, in no time I would rise back to the empowered independent women I had once been leaving my partner in the dust of my success. It was like she had been sitting inside of my body just waiting to be unleashed.
So here I am four years later in a new relationship and it is quite different. One reason is because I have been cultivating the space for a relationship of a much different caliber. I did this was through going deep into myself. I let go of a good deal of stagnant memories from childhood, friendships and relationships that allowed me to bring in a man that isn’t going to feed my tendencies. Instead he balances them. Because those tendencies are still there. They are deeply embedded into me but I am aware of them now and choose not to feed them. But he helps. Just naturally without knowing it. He doesn’t have codependent tendencies and has an amazing sense of personal boundries which is a great thing for me to be around. Finally I have attracted someone to balance my stuff and not just feed it.
But still, I could feel the need to merge starting to gain momentum, I could feel myself beginning to put my needs on a shelf. And really this just means skipping a yoga class to hang with him or instead of making a plan with a friend waiting to see if we could hang first. Now of course we do this on some level in the beginning. We are excited and want to get to know this beautiful person more. And let’s face it, once sex enters the picture we want more of that too. But still, at least for me, I believe having a balance is a much healthier way to go about this. And this does take some more awareness and consciousness.
So last Tuesday my boyfriend left to spend his holiday in Boston with his family and I had 5 days of rolling solo. The independent part of myself was very excited to have this time completely to myself and I really took advantage of it. I practiced yoga, walked around the city, had amazing conversations, met new people, cleaned up my house, made dinner with friends and really spend a good deal of time on my own. It was amazing. I took some much needed time to nurture myself and remember how important my time is. On Sunday my boyfriend was coming home but I wasnsn’t sure of the time so I scheduled a yoga class at 11:00 am. The night before he let me know he would be getting in at 11:15 and asked if I could pick him up from the bus stop. Instantly I dropped my plans and said yes. Clearly old habits die hard. Now yes, picking him up would be a nice thing to do. But it wasn’t necessary. He wasn’t at the aairport. He was at a place where he could jump on another bus or even just walk to meet me. For the rest of the night I felt disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to take the class. I happened to have off on Sunday and two of my dear friends were going to be there and I was excited to practice with them. I even found myself slightly resenting him for coming back at that time. So that night when I looked in the mirror to say my affirmations I added: “I am grounded and I I have great boundaries.” The next morning I woke up and called him to see if his bus was leaving on time. It wasn’t. I knew this was my que. I asked him if he would mind simply meeting me by the yoga studio and we could then spend the day together. Of course it didn’t phase him in the least. He is a big boy and quite independent. And we had a beautiful day. I appreciated him so much and I was able to really enjoy him and our time together. I was able to do this because I honored myself first. It really didn’t have anything to do with him. It was my shit. He was just the vehicle for me to empower myself.
I am so grateful for the space we had in those five days. It was a gift and a blessing. It allowed me to see what I was doing and how important it is to honor my needs and time. It also reminded me that I am and can still be the independent empowered woman I have been this past four years. And in being this I will in turn empower him and our relationship. Please remember, no one completes you. You are COMPLETE as you are. You are whole. You are beautiful. You are perfect. The people that come into our lives can surely enhance this and bring us more deeply into a sense of love but I believe we need to be there within ourselves to draw these kind of people in. This way we can focus on loving them without worrying how they are loving us. Our love can pour out and through that pouring we can surrender and receive just as much love in return. Not just from our partner but from everyone in our life. From humanity. Because this is what we deserve. Always.
9/2/11 Affirmative Action…
I recently started a regular regimen of affirmations. Honestly, they were never really my thing. I worked with them a bit with my Shamanic Healer and they helped but I did them more because she told me too and I trusted her guidance. At that time I was more connected to sitting and creating or “manifesting” as I like to call it. But now, as I am still (yes still) reading the Lousie Hay book “You Can Heal Your Life”, I thought I would give it a try. I must say I have taken to them quite easily and they feel almost as much a part of my routine as brushing my teeth. Not only that, but the shifts that have taken place as a result are amazing. I mean really amazing. I do recognize that everyone is in their own time and space with what works for them so perhaps this isn’t for you. But, in the chance that it is, I thought I would share with you my daily routine. So here it goes…
After my lemon water and shower I stand in the mirror, look myself straight in the eye, and say the following statements about 5 times each:
“I am deserving of love and affection.”
“I am deserving of love and affection from an amazing man.”
“Money flows freely into my experience.”
“I am great at managing my money.”
“I make great money as a yoga teacher.”
“I make great money as a writer.”
After this I sit in front of my alter with my palms up and envision a vast and expansive ocean as I repeat the words: “There is an ocean of my abundance” several times. Sometimes I do this part aloud but usually I wind up saying it to myself. After this I outstretch my arms and say “I am open to all the beauty, love, abundance and goodness available in the Universe.” Then I bring my hands to my heart and say “And I know it starts right at the center of my own heart.” I do this twice a day. It takes about five minutes. After that, once a day either in the morning or night, I sit for 15 minutes and listen to the Abraham-Hicks mediation CD. Then my ritual is complete and I feel quite fulfilled.
I know, this is some pretty out there stuff. But for me, in this stage of my practice and awareness, it works. It makes me feels so joyful and connected. It’s good stuff. When I would manifest I would sit and put out to the Universe what it was I wanted in my life. And I created a lot of beauty with this, but it would often make me aware of the fact that I DIDN’T have what it was I wanted to create. Then I would get frustrated and worried that it wouldn’t come into my life. What I have come to understand is that in order to allow all that we want to enter freely into our lives, we need to make space for it. We need to trust in the process and most importantly, we need to believe we DESERVE it. And believe it or not, a lot of people do not. There are belief systems that were embedded in our fabric when we were very young that often hold us back. By looking in the mirror and affirming these things you take back your power. You speak your truth. You own your life. It is yours after all and no one else can make it any better or any worse. It’s all you. You and what you allow or disallow into your life. You.
After doing these specific affirmations for the past three weeks I have seen and allowed so much beauty into my life. I met an amazing man. I took on a new private yoga client and sold the biggest package I have ever sold. I have signed up for a special writing course to help me write my book. I have had so many offers to teach classes making a significant amount more than I have in quite some time. And my favorite: two of my students (who are not acquainted) gave me hand written letters within three hours of each other. Both letters lovingly and affectionately expressed how appreciative they are to have my as their yoga teacher and how much they honor and respect my teaching and my life and how I live it. In eight years of teaching yoga I have never received anything like this. Clearly this stuff works.
Does the idea of doing this make you cringe? I’m not surprised. We live in a society where saying “I am an idiot” or “I am fat” is accepted. Where dramatic and often harmful relationships are exploited on TV shows and gossip magazines. Where fighting and screaming at each other are the way of life for many people. However looking at yourself in the mirror and saying “I am beautiful” or “I am deserving of love and affection” certainly is not. At least not as much as the other. But things are changing. And that change begins with us. This change begins with strong, confident, loving people that can speak their truth and love themselves whole heartedly. It may feel a little strange at first, but with time engaging with yourself in this way will become natural. Because it IS natural. We are meant to love ourselves. To adore ourselves. So try it. Be consistent with it and and notice what changes. Maybe nothing. But. Maybe everything…
8/12/11 Self-proclaimed Narcissist…
As a result of spending this time on my own while in the Poconos I really came to some deep and beautiful realizations. This feels like something that has been growing ever since I returned from my time traveling last year. And these understandings of myself submerged me into a space of deep love. It brought me to a place where my mind was filled with phrases including: “I feel very special. What I have to offer is significant. I am a goddess. I really love myself.” Now even to admit this makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Why? Because so often in our society, the second someone praises themselves those on the other end often stamp a bit fat “conceited” sticker right on their forehead.
Think about it. How often do you hear people offering themselves compliments? “I feel really beautiful tonight.” “I am so freaking good at what I do.” “I love my body” “I am a truly inspiring person.” I have so much to offer.” When do you hear this?? We rarely do. And what would you do if you did hear it? Would you tack a big fat “conceited narcissist” tag on their toe? More than not the mantras heard are like this: “I am so stupid.” “I hate my stomach.” “I so need to eat better.” “I am lazy.” “I totally screwed that up.” “I procrastinate too much.” Or the more subtle disparagements: “I shouldn’t have eaten that.” “I should do more yoga.” “Aww sorry, I totally suck.” I could go on and on.
Something is seriously wrong with this picture my friends. Seriously wrong. How have we gotten to a place where disparaging yourself is easier to do than complimenting yourself? To a place where we find comfort in negativity being flung at us? And when you look around media totally supports this. Magazines. TV. Movies. Radio. Ads. All of it. During my retreat I did an exercise where first everyone expressed something they wanted to let go of and threw it (in written form) into the fire. After this, we formed a circle and allowed others to say what we liked about each person. I waited for someone to step up and receive compliments and no one would. It was more challenging for them to receive loving words than to spill a deep rooted fear or issue.
Fascinated by this I look up the precise definitions of both conceited and narcissist. Here goes:
conceited: adj. having an excessively favorable opinion of one’s abilities, appearance, etc.
narcissist: n. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity
Ok, so it is not the fact that you love yourself that makes you a narcissist. And it is not having a favorable opinion that makes you conceited. It is the excessiveness and inordinateness of it that is key. So I looked them up too:
excessive: adj. exceeding what is usual, proper, necessary, or normal
inordinate: adj.exceeding reasonable limits; immoderate.
So here is what it boils down to. The level of our own affection and awe is only excessive if it exceeds that which is “normal” or (my favorite) “proper.” But this determination is purely subjective, a subjectivity that is very much influenced by our cultural and societal beliefs. So, it seems (these days) saying “I am beautiful” is excessive. So what is a reasonable, favorable opinion of yourself? Saying “Awww, I am ok. Not bad.” Because really it seems to me that any kind of positive comment is often deemed conceited. I have been witness many times to someone offering themselves a compliment with the phrase: “I don’t want to be conceited but” preceding it.
Now yes, there are times when being boastful or “conceited” may not be serving your highest interest. Usually this isn’t coming from a pure authentic place. Instead it stems from insecurity and the need for validation. A good way to tell is if you can strongly and lovingly stand in your truth and offer yourself kind loving words without needing anyone else to confirm them, truly, then I believe you are in a good place or honoring yourself and your potential.
The more you can honor yourself the more you will understand what you are capable of and what you deserve. Your standards will rise. You will engage with people, experiences and ideas that feed this improved outlook. And those things that once seemed to bring you down will no longer have space in your life and, as a result will simply disappear.
You are precious. Do you know that? You are a sacred living breathing manifestation of pure love, divine light and unprecedented power. You are. And when you don’t embrace that, when you try to dim it down, you are serving no one. Be fascinated with yourself. You Are fascinating. Embrace your beauty. Be proud of the things you excel at. Give yourself some props for God‘s sake. That God being you. The sooner you realize this the sooner you will be living your truth. And my truth. And our truth. So what are you waiting for?
7/22/11 Unexpected Allies…
Finally after almost a month of looking at the Louise Hay book, “You Can Heal Your Life” (as it sat on my nightstand), I picked it up once again. If you read my first newsletter you will understand why I was hesitant. INTENSE! To say the least. But finally the resistance let up a bit and I started reading it once again. I now came to the part that speaks of affirmations.You know, the whole look in the mirror, straight into your own eyes and say something that will most likely scare the shit out of you. Those things. I have worked with them a bit when I was with Nan, my Shamanic Healer, but I haven’t revisited this powerful form of change in about two years. I have decided to work with two. The first one is as follows “I release the need in my life for a lack of money” and the second is “I release the need for men in my life that don’t have time for me.” The first one is pretty self explanatory. While I am very successful, full of joy, live in a wonderful beautiful home and really do live an abundant life, I still have limiting beliefs around money. These beliefs include guilt around money and a general feeling of scarcity which can really filter into everything: the food I eat, my relationships, time. I know these things and where they stem from. And now I am ready to move into deeper methods to change them. Hence the affirmations.
Now for the other. I have been single for about three years now. And by single I mean sometimes completely on my own and sometimes dating. I haven’t been in a serious committed relationship for some time. But really how could I have been? Over the past three years, I have been quite busy and have also been through some pretty deep transformations. More recently many beautiful men have entered into my life. They are all really amazing in their own way. They practice yoga, rock climb, are open hearted and fun, love to travel and very are attractive. But they all have something in common. None of then can really make time for me. Perhaps they are busy, perhaps they have full lives, or perhaps what we have is more fun and not serious. Really it is a little of all of these. Still, this has not kept me from having wonderful, carefree and fun times doing yoga, climbing, eating delicious food and having connected conversations. But, I keep thinking “I am ready for a relationship! These guys are lovely but I want more.”
Now two things come to mind here. One is “we get what we put out.” I am a very busy lady. Hence I attract busy men. However I always believe we make time for what we really want. Just as we spend money on what we really want. So I do believe it goes deeper than that. In the book Louise speaks of how everything in our lives is there because for one reason or another there is a NEED for it. I have believed this for some time now. And as I was teaching a private on Wednesday it came to me. For a while now there have been signs and discussions around my passion and what it is I really want to do. While yoga is a big part of my passion and my purpose, I know that writing a book is also a significant part as well. A part that I have been resisting for too long. I know this may sound like a stretch but I have been feeling for a while now that I have been single for a big reason. That if I had been in a relationship over the last three years I may not have come into the realizations and transformations I have. This takes a certain kind of aloneness. At least for me it did. And I tend to get distracted in relationships. So I have believed that first I needed to come into myself. Into my authenticity. Into my strength. And like a rooted tree I would then be grounded and stable to merge with another. But now I think it is more than that. I have to start writing my book. I have to move more deeply into my purpose. I know this sounds like a “Lord or the Rings” plot but truly this is what I believe. It is not that I am being punished or that it will be a reward. But it is that I need to be focused and grounded to get started and let’s face it, in the beginning stages of a relationship feet barely touch the ground. This is just a thought but it come from an inspired place so I trust it.
What things in your life frustrate you? What are you trying to change? What are you struggling for that you are not getting? Perhaps there is a message in all of this? Perhaps there is something you are neglecting. Perhaps there is a bigger plan for you. We are so much more than what meets the eye. Take a moment to look inside and you may be surprised at what you discover. Those things you feel that were holding you back may be allies. And once we this is discovered and we can soften around our issues changes come gracefully, easily and quickly. Sometimes all it takes is a shift in the perception.
7/2/11 A Change is Gonna Come…
I don’t know if you have felt it but the last month has offered some very transformational opportunities. Especially in the atmosphere.
Friday July 1 was the last of three eclipses that took place 15 days apart from each other. The first, which took place on June 1 offered an energy that supported letting go of old habits and patterns that may no longer serve us, some that may have been with us for years. The second took place June 15 and supported a transformative healing that can come when we accept our authentic Self, that which may have been buried beneath the old patterns. The third offered a completion to this process tapping us into our own power to live our truth and create that which we want in our lives and our world.
Luckily I received this information via a newsletter from intuitive healer and holistic psychotherapist Ashley King the eve of this powerful event. And it just so happens that the following day I had scheduled a Reiki session with an amazing healer and friend, Fran Starlet. Little did I know just how much change and understanding this time would bring in my own personal journey of healing and growth. Have you felt this movement? I sure have.
After the my first Reiki session I felt so amazing. Alive. Awake. Alert. The days that followed opened me up in ways I couldn’t have ever planned for. The next Saturday I went to a yoga class and that involved focus on the heart Chakra. From the moment the class began I was smiling, glowing and feeling so incredibly connected. I flowed as if on a cloud and after class the magic continued. I walked around old city with a dear friend and everything looked so beautiful. As if I was seeing things for the first time. We went to brunch and I sat in awe of how I was feeling. It was something I had never felt before. I looked at my friend as tears trickled down my face and realized that my heart had opened in a new way. Something shifted and I was feeling the effects. My skin was vibrating and everything I looked at felt like I was seeing it through the eyes of a love that was pure, giving and open. It was miraculous. And surprisingly the feeling lasted for a few days and is something I will never forget.
I had such amazing results from my first experience that I decided to get another Reiki session the day after the second eclipse, as I had with the first. This one was much different. I came out feeling tired and lethargic and but still I knew changes were coming. That weekend I spent time in Ocean City with my family and everything came up. As I’m sure many of you can relate to, when I am around my family my “stuff” comes up pretty quickly. This is because much of our “stuff” was created back when we were a child and is often tied to our families in some way. Especially our parents. So when we are around them they become big fat mirrors for our own understanding, transformation and healing. Simultaneously I decided to read the ridiculously powerful book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. Please, do not try this at home. In the book she speaks of how, as children, we take on so much of what our parents are dealing with and it can be tremendously helpful for us to accept this with love and understand that our those raising us “did the best they could with the awareness they had at the time.” She also speaks about how she thinks we choose our parents as a way to work on a particular karmic issue in this life. So those we are around in our most formative years are there because they are allowing us to move into a place where deep karmic healing can occur. Pretty trippy stuff, I know. I guess this is why by day two, after my phone broke and my computer got a virus and completely shut down, I had a total breakdown. In the four months I was on my travels last year in Brazil, Tanzania and India, taking cold showers, having spotting communication with the states and working with orphans that had scabies, I never really freaked out. Two days down the shore with my family, reading a Louise Hay book and I am a mess. There is so much humor and irony in this. Truly there is. My freak-out wasn’t at anyone in particular. Instead I just felt it. It was all inside. My projections, my insecurities and my fears. It didn’t last long and was followed by a restful few hours on the beach remembering the vastness of life through a couple moments by the ocean. The shakiness stayed for most of the week but again things shifted and now I feel so much more rooted as I see myself morphing a little every day. I am very excited to see what this next eclipse brings and am open to all of it.
So often as we shed our old skin and move into a deeper awareness and appreciation for our Selves, it can feel uncomfortable and even scary. Sometimes it can feel magical and beautiful. Both are important and wonderful expressions of our own transformations. If we remember that we are always so supported and really these “uncomfortable” feelings are simply our own projections and fears surfacing, then we can let them go and experience even more joy and freedom. We can bask in the glow of our own strength and our own light. Change is good. Especially when it comes from within.
I plan on continuing to share my own healing with you as a way to remind you (and myself) that we all have things that fill us up, bring us joy and bring us to our knees. Our ability to stand up, to bow down and to smile joyfully determines the outcome. At least a little. If not a lot.